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Trend Forecast: 3D Animation in 2015

Feb 04, 2015

Learning what’s new in the 3D world will help you keep track of everything from film to what’s popular in interior design college, to new and inventive components of website design courses. In the 1950s, 3D in motion pictures was nothing but a cheap gimmick to fill seats. 3D would make a comeback in the 80s, although not much had improved in term of quality. But ever since 1996, when Woody the Cowboy first appeared onscreen in Toy Story, 3D animation in film took on a whole new meaning, as did computer generated imagery. Today, it’s far from just a simple gimmick, but an integral part of not only filmmaking, but advertising in popular culture.

A Mix of Styles

The 3D art world is now an integral component of big budget blockbusters. Pixar’s latest CGI hit Big Hero 6, blended the standard Pixar 3D CGI with the style of anime – to raving results. It was a fitting blend, given the inspiration for the film was a Japanese comic book, and the new mix of Western and Eastern influence was well received by critics and audiences alike.

This sort of hybrid will undoubtedly continue, with more and more modern visual artists under the influence of famed anime artist Hayao Miyazaki. Other Eastern influences currently inspiring young students with 3D animation training around the world stem from a childhood upbringing of video game design and 3D graphic television shows.

Non-Photo Realistic Rendering

3D rendering in film also saw a huge boost last year with the summer release of Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. The titular apes, created by Weta Digital, were motion-captured performances from Andy Serkis and Tony Kebbell, with digitized hair and skeletal structures imprinted over their own faces. Though there will always be a place for such amazingly life-like 3D animation, 2015 is already seeing a push away from photorealism in 3D animation.

Instead, the art world is seeing more 3D films embracing an impressionistic style. By using specialist software such as CelAction, a more illustrative style can be achieved. Check out this short film produced by Airbnb for an example of this new style:

Organic Influences

As evidenced in the film above, today’s animation is heavily inspired by its medium. In this case, the inspiration is clearly watercolour. Following Marshall MacLuhan’s theory that the medium in the message, the same kind of inspired design can be seen in last year’s The Lego Movie. Every brick of Lego in the film is CGI, but is used to enhance the very concept of the story.

3D In Advertising

We’ve discussed extensively how 3D animation is changing film – however, it is now also being used to effectively sell products. Most brands have switched their logos from 2D to 3D for their advertising. We can see the influence of 3D animation in the commercials of nearly any product or company these days: car commercials, Mr. Clean, 5 Gum and so many more. This is a trend that will likely continue.  

How will 3D animation be utilized in your desired career?

Categories: 3D Animation, Graphic and Web Design, Interior Design and Architecture
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